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One out of three Americans thinks most Hispanics are undocumented, and according to a new Pew study, and the media perpetuates this belief.

According to The Pew Hispanic Center, more than 30 per cent of Americans “are certain” that more than half of all Latinos live in the U.S. illegally.

The actual figure of illegally present Latinos is 18 percent.

Reportedly, U.S. Latinos that are immigrants from other countries figure around 37 percent.

Another media research entity, Latino Decisions, conducted online research with over 3,000 non-Latino participants. The participants were shown either negative or positive one-minute clips of Latinos.

According to their research, being exposed to just one negative clip made it more likely that the viewer would associate Latinos with crime, extra-large families or illegal immigration.

Reports say that what Americans what on TV and media shapes their beliefs about Latinos, and since for example, 41 percent of conservative radio talk show listeners think Latinos take jobs away from other Americans, the proof is in the pudding. That number of listeners is over twice the rate of National Public Radio listeners.

What are your thoughts on how media shapes non-Latino Americans’ perceptions of the Hispanic population? Should media exercise more responsibility, or is it unfair to blame the media, despite what these studies show?

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